Jaguar boosts Solihull plant with 800 new jobs

Luxury car-maker bucks sector's moribund  trend as it responds to  international demand

Jaguar Land Rover will give the British carmaking industry a much-needed boost today, as the luxury motor manufacturer announces 800 new jobs at its factory in Solihull.

Just two days after Honda sent shockwaves through the UK car industry by announcing 800 job cuts in Swindon, Jaguar Land Rover said demand for its luxury vehicles from countries such as China, the US and Russia was now so strong that it would be recruiting additional staff.

The Solihull plant employs and makes the Range Rover, Discovery and Defender models. It has been making vehicles since 1948.

The group revealed plans to beef up its Solihull plant as it reported a 30 per cent surge in global sales to a record 357,773 vehicles for last year.

China became the group's biggest market last year, overtaking the UK after sales to the country soared by 71 per cent to 71,940 vehicles. The UK came next, with sales increasing 19 per cent to a record 68,333, followed by the US, up 11 per cent at 55,675. Sales to Russia and Germany increased by 43 per cent and 41 per cent respectively. Speaking as the Detroit motor show kicked off, Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover's director of group sales, said: "2012 has been a strong year… Looking ahead to 2013, we are continuing to invest in our business to support our ambitious plans for growth and we will be introducing eight new or refreshed products throughout the year."

The new jobs continue a remarkable turnaround at Jaguar Land Rover since India's Tata motors bought the company from Ford in 2008 for £1.1bn.

At that point the company was struggling as the credit crisis had hit sales hard and it was making about 100,000 cars a year.

However, Tata injected cash into the business and sales rebounded. The company is now two years into a five-year expansion plan with a target of making 600,000 sales a year. The expansion plans include the launch of a sporty new Range Rover, which is expected to be unveiled in April.

They demonstrate that demand for luxury products is holding up well, especially in fast-growing emerging markets such as China and Russia.

It will come as a sharp relief to Britain's car industry after the more mainstream car-maker, Honda, announced a further 800 job losses at its Swindon plant on Friday, blaming weak demand across Europe.

This was the first time Honda has cut its workforce at the plant – which produces the Civic, Jazz and CR-V models – since it came to the UK in 1992. The redundancies raised fears there could be more job losses on the cards in the mainstream UK vehicle-making industry, with demand in Europe's beleaguered car industry at its weakest for nearly two decades and the market showing little sign of recovery.

Earlier this month, GM – which owns UK-based Vauxhall – shocked the industry when it forecast that European care sales will weaken further this year. The UK exports 82 per cent of the cars it makes, of which about half go to Europe.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Developer - London - £45k

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Application Support & Development ...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003